After a lot of thought, I've decided to take a break from blogging for the foreseeable future. With my little C creeping its way back into my life and possible long term treatment now, I need to take a couple of things off my plate for the time being, and the blog is going to be one of those things. As it is, it felt like it was becoming more of a chore than anything else. I need my reading time to be more enjoyable right now, more of the escape that I really need, and what I don't need is the little voice in the back of my head telling me how many reviews I'm behind and trying to come up with what I need to say about the book.

I simply want to read.

I'll more than likely occasionally post on here what I've been reading, and if there is something that really blows my mind, I'll probably have more to say about it and may write up a proper post, but for right now, things are going to be very quiet around here.

As always, happy reading!
2017 edit
I will continue to blog according to my health and ability, and connecting my posts thru Goodreads, so please be patient if things get quiet around here again this year.

2017 edit #2
I am happy to report that my bone marrow transplant was a success and that I'm feeling more like myself everyday. That said, I'm going to try to start blogging a little more frequently, but please bear with me as I still continue to recover.

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee

The Queen of the Night The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm not really sure what to say about Alexander Chee's novel The Queen of the Night other than it is magnificent. A sprawling, epic tale that put me in mind of Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha, we follow Paris Opera sensation Lilliet Berne as she recounts her life from her humble beginnings as an orphaned American child, who tried to make her way to Europe to the only family she new of after the death of her family and ended up being swept up by one circumstance after another into the spectacle that was the Second French Empire. We follow her life from her time with a traveling circus, to becoming a prostitute in one of Paris' more prestigious whorehouses, to her time as a dresser for Empress Eugénie de Montijo at the Tuileries, until she finally makes her debut at the French Opera. Through this tale, she is trying to discover who might know of her secrets, as each time she took on a new role, she also cast off her old life and name and reinvented herself at each turn, trying to finally free herself from her own past and come into the life that she wants for herself.

Chee seems to have thoroughly researched his setting for Lillet's journey, and his writing is strong and precise. Lilliet's life is quite an adventure, but it never seems to be dull, and I never felt like I was wishing that her tale would hurry along. I listened to the audio version, and Lisa Flanagan's narration is spot on; she truly became the voice of Lilliet for me. The only thing that I added to my own listening of the book that I think could possibly benefit other readers is that I listened to selections of the operas and other musical pieces that are mentioned in the book, to add that next level of enjoyment to the story.

Chee is an extraordinary storyteller and I'll definitely be reading more by him in the future.

View all my reviews

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire by Neil Gaiman, adapted by Shane Oakley

Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Basically one long run on joke about all the tropes found in every Gothic tale ever told, this is the weakest of Dark Horse's Gaiman adaptations. I haven't read the original story this was adapted from, so I'm not sure if this is worse/better or if it's Gaiman's story or Oakley's adaptation, but I quickly found myself skimming thru just to get to the end, and when you're reading something only 48 pages long and you start skimming when you're only half way thru...

View all my reviews

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Modern Masters, Vol 1: Alan Davis by Eric Nolen-Weathington

Modern Masters Volume One: Alan Davis Modern Masters, Vol 1: Alan Davis by Eric Nolen-Weathington
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A nice volume about comic book artist Alan Davis, who has been a favorite of mine since I first encountered his art in Uncanny X-Men back in the late 80s. Including an interview with Davis, the book is also filled with sketches, finished art, previously unseen art, a look at the artists that have influenced Davis over the years, as well as interviews with some of Davis' contemporaries. If you're a fan of the history of comic books and want a firsthand look into the life and influences of Alan Davis, this is the perfect book for you.

View all my reviews

Monday, February 6, 2017

Invincible, Vol 2: Eight Is Enough by Robert Kirkman, illustrated by Cory Walker et al

Invincible, Vol 2: Eight Is Enough Invincible, Vol. 2: Eight Is Enough by Robert Kirkman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This story continues to impress me; with some great humor, well paced action, and some genuine mystery added in for good measure, this volume is definitely all about later plots. While the first volume, Family Matters, set up the core characters for Invincible, this volume is clearly set up as starting points for future story lines, so while it doesn't actually seem like much happens here, it just makes me want to continue reading so I can see how all these plot threads play out. Cory Walker's art and Bill Crabtree's colors are top notch again; I really like the minimal line art and coloring. The inclusion of different artists working on the introduction of additional characters to the book was a nice touch too, helping each character stand out a little while having the briefest of introductions. On to the third volume!

View all my reviews